Monday, August 24, 2020

Kayla Stauffer is Tagged to Teach Ag! at Mount Union Area High School

Recent Penn State Agricultural & Extension Education graduate Kayla Stauffer has been hired at Mount Union Area High School in Mount Union, PA. Kayla is originally from Lancaster, PA and she graduated from Lampeter-Strasburg High School where she was actively involved in the Garden Spot FFA Chapter. She did not have her career goal set out to be an Agriculture Educator. Kayla says "I always thought that I was going to be a veterinarian, I love animals and love taking care of them. I enrolled in the Veterinary Science course at my high school and fell in love with not only veterinary medicine but the National FFA organization and all aspects of agriculture. I continued to take agriculture courses all four years of high school." Through being a part of the Agriculture Education program at Lampeter-Strasburg is where Kayla was able to learn more about her passion for agriculture and try new activities. The National Teach Ag! Essay Contest was brought to her attention and she decided to try her hand at teaching an agriculture class. She states "After teaching one period of Veterinary Science in 11th grade, I knew that I wanted to teach and knew that I specifically wanted to Teach Ag!"

After graduating high school Kayla attended the Pennsylvania State University Altoona Campus. Here she got involved in the Penn State Altoona Ag Club and Altoona Cheer-leading. At the University Park Campus Kayla became involved in the Club Cheer-leading Squad and served as a Penn State Teach Ag! Avenger. During her student teaching period she branched out and decided to travel to Boonsboro, Maryland where Kayla taught under Mrs. Quinn Cashell-Martin. She gained experience teaching Introduction to Agriculture, Power Mechanics 1 & 2, Greenhouse Management, Floral Design, and a Forestry and Soils course. 

Kayla is now eager to start her journey at Mount Union Area High School. She will be a part of a new three-teacher program. Her class schedule consists of courses including Introduction to Wood Products and Technology, Advanced Wood shop/Cabinetry, Small Gas Engines, and Agriculture Mechanics. When asking Kayla about some of her classroom goals she said "I have numerous goals that I would like to achieve throughout the next several years, but the main goal that I want to achieve is creating an incredible relationship with the special education department and finding ways to include those students in the FFA program and our agriculture courses." In addition, Kayla is excited to be teaching Agriculture Mechanics courses because she did not take any shop classes throughout her high school career, but overtime gaining more experience in the shop she has fallen in love with the content through the courses at Penn State and her student teaching experience. Kayla expresses one thing she is excited for which is to challenge herself with learning more wood working content and coming up with innovative ways to work with the other teachers by combining all of the course content and assisting each another. When asked one piece of advice she had for Ag Ed majors Kayla said "Be yourself. Don’t worry about what the rest of your cohort or the graduates before you have done or are doing, bring your own personality into the classroom and into the educator that you want to become."

The Center for Professional Personnel Development is excited to see what great learning experiences Kayla will offer to her students. Congratulations again on being hired at Mount Union Area High School, you will positively impact the Agriculture Education Program and its students. Best of luck Kayla!

Morgan Bear
CPPD Student Worker
Agricultural & Extension Education
Class of 2023

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